Seldovia's Russian Orthodox church rests in transition (AK)

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Seldovia’s St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral, sitting atop its hill as it has for more than a century, is currently in transition because its members are so few in Seldovia that services are seldom held there.

However, contrary to speculation, the church is not for sale, said Russian Orthodox priest, Father Michael Oleksa. Apparently the rumor started because land around the church is listed for sale, after a trailer court nearby has overflowed onto church property, creating a “squatting” situation that has left the church wanting to sell the land around the church.

“We have a person who is willing to buy the land and we would rather sell it and let the new owners sort out the squatter issue,” Oleksa said.

Oleksa said that no Russian Orthodox church can be sold. The buildings are owned outright by the diocese, and 30 of them in Alaska are on the historic register.

For that matter, every ancient, onion-domed Russian Orthodox cathedral in Alaska has a separate story, said Oleksa, a long-time professor of cultural and orthodox history at Alaska universities and the author of several books on the topic. Some churches, like Holy Assumption at Kenai, will be going through renovations to replace its 120-year old rotting log walls. In order to raise the $1 million it will take to do that, the nonprofit Rossia is coming to the rescue to raise the funds....

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